Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer Program

Providing key resources, training and other outreach efforts for HIV prevention

The Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer (BSSV) Program has been focusing on the alignment of its current initiatives with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s High Impact Prevention Approach (HIP) and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). Over the past months, BSSV activities have emphasized capacity building Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer Programassistance support to community-based organizations (CBOs) implementing evidence based interventions targeted to prevention and care services for HIV positive clients (e.g., Healthy Relationships, CLEAR, ARTAS, etc.); integration of mental health, substance abuse and HIV prevention; linkage to care; medical adherence; program monitoring and evaluation; and online training to enhance the skills of volunteers providing capacity building assistance (CBA) support to CBOs. Recently, our efforts have focused on developing and providing key resources and tools, trainings and other outreach efforts which are highlighted below.

Our BSSV team is comprised of 300 dynamic and professional volunteers in 45 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. They represent professionals from diverse behavioral and social science disciplines and education levels. 

Peer to Peer (P2P) Mentoring Initiative

With great excitement, the BSSV Program has launched the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Mentoring Initiative. This effort was created to promote an integrated network of peer mentoring and information exchange by connecting CBOs with common CBA needs and complementary program strengths. CBOs participating in P2P receive needed programming support from peers, gather implementation strategies from shared experiences and lessons learned, explore possible collaborations, and develop national partnerships.  Held on May 20, 2012, the first P2P webinar focused on the implementation of Healthy Relationships and received positive feedback. Several organizations expressed their desire to be featured as a CBO co-lead during future webinars.

Integration of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention

The BSSV Program has been working in partnership with APA’s HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE) and Senior Training Consultant, Sally Jue, to refine a three-module training curriculum entitled, Integration of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention. This training series will assist CBOs interested in integrating mental health, substance abuse and HIV prevention within their agencies and streamlining their services.  Pilot tests of the training modules are scheduled for this fall in Los Angeles, Washington, Santa Ana, Calif. and Dallas. Three trainings are scheduled for spring 2013 in Miami, New York, Houston and Los Angeles.

We continue to update our integration resource page It is our hope these resources will be helpful to those seeking a comprehensive and integrated approach to care and prevention.

To receive CBA support in this area, contact Sharon Asonganyi, CBA coordinator, at (202) 336-6164.

New Program Monitoring and Evaluation Resources for CBOs

CBOs are often in need of “back to basics” resource tools on program monitoring and evaluation. To meet this need, the BSSV Program developed three user-friendly factsheets. These consumer factsheets—Why Evaluate, Program Planning and Developing An Effective Evaluation Plan—are posted on the BSSV website. They will also be widely disseminated at BSSV sponsored trainings and national HIV conferences.

Conference Presentations

The BSSV Program delivered workshop presentations on topics relating to the integration of mental health, substance abuse and HIV in October 2012 at the United States Conference on AIDS in Las Vegas, and the Texas Statewide HIV Prevention Conference in Austin, Texas.

2012 International AIDS Conference        

Sharon Asonganyi, BSSV CBA Coordinator, was able to share her hands at the YAHAnet booth Wall of HandshandsOn July 22-27, 2012, the Nation’s capital hosted the 19th International AIDS Conference for the first time in over two decades. Sharon Asonganyi, BSSV CBA coordinator (pictured right) was able to share her hands at the YAHAnet booth Wall of Hands as part of the collective whole “taking the LEAD to get to zero!

Requesting CBA support: For more information or to access the services of the BSSV Program, please call Edna Davis-Brown (BSSV program director) by email or phone at (202) 336-6176 or Sharon Asonganyi (CBA coordinator) by email or phone at (202) 336-6164.